Nirvana is a kind of peace free of this cycle of misunderstanding, and is a stepping stone to full enlightenment. This immersion is designed to help all of us on a spiritual path, in an immediate practical way, get to the root of our own worst qualities, and see directly how a pattern of ignorance within our mind is perpetuating our experience of pain, and how to end that experience for good.
The word “nirvana” brings up many different ideas. Is it some kind of space into which we disappear? Is it some strange place where we are happy all the time, without a care for the problems of the rest of the world? In this series of talks, we will explore what nirvana really is, and practical ways of getting there, learning both the theory of nirvana, through the study of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and practical meditation practices.
A one-night lecture in which Geshe Michael discusses the difference between two very important words in Buddhism: Nirvana and Samsara. These two words reflect the goals of all Buddhist practice—Nirvana is where you’re trying to go and Samsara is what you’re trying to get away from. However, before you have a long lecture about how to get to Nirvana and escape from Samsara, it’s important to clarify what they are. This lecture does exactly that. We find this one really helpful because the format also included a lot more interaction with the audience than usual, giving people a chance to share their ideas about what they think the qualities of Nirvana and Samsara are. This really flushed out many of the misunderstandings which new Buddhists in particular may have about the goals of Buddhist practice and clarified the path to reach those goals.